City Officials: Power is back on in Escanaba

UPDATE — [9:32 PM Tuesday, February 3rd] Power is back on in the city of Escanaba this morning. The city of Escanaba Electric Department has confirmed this information with ABC 10.


ESCANABA — The Escanaba Area Schools and the Delta County Courthouse will be closed Tuesday because much of the city was in the dark after a substation at the Escanaba Power Plant caught fire.

Power is restored in some areas of Delta County in the wake of Monday blackouts after the early morning explosion at the city’s main power plant. Depending on circuit overloads, residents may expect rolling blackouts in increments of two hours in Escanaba for up to two days.

The city utilized municipal facilities as warming shelters as temperatures dropped overnight to single digits. With restoring power to residential areas, officials are asking residents to heat their homes then conserve energy to avoid circuit overloads until a new substation can be hooked up. The process is expected to take between 18 and 24 hours.

Damage assessment is still being conducted to determine the severity of the fire damage and the cause of the explosion. Officials say a contracting crew worked throughout the night, and called in experts from around the Midwest to advise and assist. The county is coordinating with its emergency center by declaring a local state of emergency and monitoring critical care units to ensure the least amount of impact to the elderly and other individuals with health concerns.

People affected by power outage in Escanaba can expect rolling blackouts over the next two days. Power on Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba was out for a majority of the day Monday, with traffic lights and businesses regaining life just before 2 p.m. However, the light won’t last as the city is engaging in rolling blackouts to work on restoring power across the grid.

“Our number one priority is restoration of power to our customers,” said Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole. “We are trying to put a priority on residential customers because of the winter weather.”

The YMCA and Grace Church in Gladstone served as warming shelters for the day, as did WalMart. The Bonifas Civic Center is offering its facilities as an overnight shelter for those still without power.

“If people are going to come an utilize the shelter, if you’re on medicines please bring your medicines with you,” said Robert Berboh, Delta County Management Coordinator. “If you have portable oxygen, also bring that. Or if you have a conentrator please bring that here, also. The health department has done an inspection and everything is good to go.”

A replacement substation has been brought in from Iron Mountain to replace the damaged equipment. It will take 18 to 24 hours to get it running. Officials say the power outage began at around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. No one was injured in the fire.

UPDATES


UPDATE — 3:45 AM Tuesday, February 3rd


UPDATE — 7:07 PM Monday, February 2nd

The Delta County Courthouse will be closed on Tuesday February 3rd due to the power outage.


UPDATE — 5:07 PM Monday, February 2nd

The Escanaba Area Public Schools will be closed tomorrow because of the power outage and the expected rolling blackouts.

A new electrical substation has also been brought in from Iron Mountain to replace the one that caught fire overnight.


UPDATE — 2:02 PM Monday, February 2nd

Escanaba Public Safety has informed ABC 10 that people affected by today’s power outage can expect rolling blackouts over the next two days. City officials are working to restore power after a substation at the Escanaba Power Plant caught on fire early this morning.

The Catherine Bonifas Civic Center, located on 225 N. 21st Street in Escanaba, is offering its facilities as an overnight shelter for those still without power. The YMCA and Grace Church in Gladstone are serving as warming shelters for the day.

Delta County officials have informed ABC 10 that anyone in need of transportation to a warming center in Escanaba should contact the Public Transportation office at 786-1186, ext. 1.


ESCANABA — Power is out after a explosion at the Escanaba Power Plant Monday morning. Officials tell ABC 10 that the power outage began at around 1:30 a.m., due to a fire at a substation. There are no reports of injuries at this time.

Explosion-Escanaba

UPPCO is working with crews from the Escanaba Power Plant to restore power to the area. There is no word yet on when power will be restored to the area.

Escanaba schools are closed today due to widespread power outages. Walmart is open this morning, thanks to the efforts of its backup generators. Residents affected by the power outage can go to Walmart and warm-up. The Escanaba Civic Center is also open as a warming shelter.

About the Author

Andrew Lorinser
Andrew@ABC10UP.com Andrew is the interactive media manager at ABC 10 / CW 5. Learn More about ABC 10 / CW 5 Staff